Sepsis and Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD)

Adults with an intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) can be at higher risk of developing sepsis for a variety of reasons. People with an IDD frequently have overall poorer health, a lower life expectancy, and a more challenging time getting adequate healthcare than those without an IDD, and people with an IDD may also experience communication barriers with their caregivers when they have pain or aren’t feeling well. Sepsis is the third most common reason for hospitalization in this population. What’s more, communication barriers between patients with an IDD and hospital staff and negative emotions related to these interactions can make the delivery of culturally competent care and the timely diagnosis and treatment of a condition as complex as sepsis challenging to achieve.

On this webpage, discover new educational materials, created with input from members of the IDD population, on sepsis risk, treatment considerations, and the delivery of culturally competent care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as patient resources to aid adults with an IDD in understanding sepsis and infection prevention. These materials are FREE and aimed at enhancing rapport and appropriate communication, as well as knowledge of risk factors, to improve care and reduce unnecessary deaths and suffering related to sepsis in the IDD population.

Sepsis and IDD Webinars

Intellectual Disability and Sepsis: Understanding Disparities and Care Needs

Description: Experts in healthcare delivery, disability, and sepsis discuss the critical need to address health disparities for people with intellectual disabilities and sepsis.

Register Here.

Case Reviews: Sepsis in Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Description: Carl Tyler, MD, MSc, analyzes three case studies, each highlighting infection and sepsis risk factors for adults with an IDD, including common impairments to the immune system, challenges with recurrent dysphagia, and urinary retention.

Register here.

Sepsis Alliance Summit Keynote: How Inclusive Healthcare Practices for People with IDD can Save Lives

Description: In this session, learners will review healthcare barriers, including unconscious bias, commonly experienced by people with an IDD and discuss how these barriers contribute to preventable deaths from conditions like sepsis. Learners will then discover inclusive healthcare practices and policies that can help to eliminate these health disparities, produce better health outcomes, create better patient and provider healthcare experiences, and decrease preventable deaths from conditions like sepsis.

Register Here.

Patient and Public Resources: Sepsis and IDD

Sepsis Alliance created free downloadable sepsis education materials for use in your organization.

Click here to access more information on sepsis and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Special Olympics Resources

Sepsis Alliance thanks Special Olympics for their support of the Sepsis and IDD educational resources. Click here to learn more about Special Olympics and ways to engage with individuals with an IDD.

Sepsis Alliance gratefully acknowledges the support provided by the WITH Foundation for the Sepsis and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities resources.